1. Degree or measure of succeeding
2. Favorable or desired outcome
3. The attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
It’s interesting to note that the dictionary definition of success mentions things like wealth, status, and superiority. These are ways our culture measures success, but I have to ask – are they accurate? Who decides what constitutes wealth or status or honor? What measuring stick are we using, and is it one we even buy into? A long time ago, while shopping for my very first new-to-me car, I noticed a sign in a salesman’s office that said $UCCE$$. My interpretation was that he equated money with being successful. There’s nothing wrong with that – money is a fantastic thing to have – but I wasn’t keen on it being the sole focus (and no, I didn’t buy a car from him).
Success means different things to each of us, and the definition can become quite personal. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” Pretty different from attaining wealth and position, wouldn’t you say? Attaining a long sought-after goal, reaching a certain point in one’s career, raising a family, running a marathon, getting a 4.0 GPA – all of these very different things are successes.
In order to know if you’re successful, it may be important to consider your own definition of what success means, so you’ll recognize success when you see it. Maybe it’s also important to take stock of where you are as compared to where you were when you started and notice the milestones you accomplished along the way. There’s a good chance you’re already wildly successful. In fact, I’d bet on it!
Curious about other ways to define success? Read this list of 20 new definitions from Lifehack.
“Success doesn’t come to you…you go to it.”
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
Dr. Seuss Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.”
“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”
“The key to success is to start before you are ready.”
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
“I planned my success. I knew it was going to happen.”
“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up.”
“Success isn’t about the end result; it’s about what you learn along the way.”
“Dreams do come true. If anyone’s proof of that, it’s me.”